Another option is looking at what skills/interests you already have and apply that to S/E work around either other commitments, or if you're unemployed, then you're pretty free to go. Reminds me of my Brother-in-law who has thousands of pounds in professional photography gear and sat for over a YEAR whinging about how he couldn't find any work (yet he couldn've restarted pimping his previous wedding photo work and started doing that again over the busy summer period). I even offered him use of my MAC, iphone App code AND iphone developer account to see if he could come up with some ideas, but no. He just frankly couldn't be arsed (but still complained).
Getting a 'steady' FT job is a challenge in itself, but up-skilling yourself to do something for yourself is very possible (even with little to no capital), it just takes perserverance and determination.
Personally, I'm on a secondment with no guarantee of a better job by the end of July. My current options are:
1). Go back to a branch, lose 40% of my current wage and hate it with a seething passion (thus come home miserable AND poorer).
2). Hope to get employed doing guide work F/T via GamerGuides.com (is still a possibility - and my preferred choice tbh).
3). Go into self-guide writing if option 2 is a no-go and look to write for official guide publishers and publish my own guides digitally again. This - whilst not a guaranteed level of income - is still a solid option (as far as I'm concerned) as I still technically run my own Limited company, so I'll never be unemployed if I don't have to be. But I know my wife's less than a fan of this option and thinks that by just applying for jobs I'll get somewhere externally.
I'll apply externally soon as well, but quite frankly, I sure as hell
don't fancy my odds (even with a pretty damn solid CV). I'm even struggling internally, regardless of the networking and contacts I've made.